Author Archive

Marking A Milestone

January 12, 2022

Seventy years ago today, I entered this life. The expectation at that time was that a good and long life would span 70 years, and maybe, just maybe, I might see 80. Her majesty was just beginning her reign, acceding to the throne on …( read more )

Age Shall Not Weary Them

January 6, 2022

The older I get, the more that I realize that I have a unique role to play in life. I spent many years in active service to our Lord. I am now at a different point in my faith journey where I have just as much to share, but often with a …( read more )

Just Once, Right?

December 27, 2021

The topic was refugee sponsorship. The conversation was intense, and finally one of those at the meeting said, "Just once, right?" It might have seemed that way to someone new to the refugee crisis. The conflict in Syria had churches …( read more )

To You Is Born

December 19, 2021

I was passing the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, a while back, and I saw a family leaving with a new little bundle and a big bunch of flowers and gifts and toys. Above the trio, a big, blue balloon proudly proclaimed, …( read more )

The Fear Factor

December 11, 2021

My most cherished nativity scene (of which I have many!) is one from Malawi that I brought back with me in 1998. This nativity scene almost got me arrested — or worse! Let me tell you the tale. I'd spent over two weeks visiting mission …( read more )

Kindfulness

December 3, 2021

A year ago, early in Advent, on December 3, 2020, I took part in a Zoom dialogue with our Prime Minister and 400 faith leaders from across Canada. "I have been proud of our fellow Canadians to make it through this pandemic, but we have …( read more )

The Widow's Walk

November 28, 2021

I live in Nova Scotia, and to be precise, I live on the eastern shore, which is dotted with small fishing villages. The architecture here is often just a tad different from what most people are used to: we have a large number of widow's …( read more )

Security Blankets

November 17, 2021

In the Peanuts comic strip, Linus has his security blanket. Over a 35-year period, he experienced a love/hate relationship with this well-worn blanket. After all, it had been a part of his life from the very beginning. The blanket gave …( read more )

Looking Up!

October 13, 2021

I feel the winds of God today; Today my sail I lift, Though heavy oft with drenching spray And torn with many a rift; If hope would light the water's crest, And Christ my bark will use, I'll seek the seas at His behest, And brave another …( read more )

Give Us This Day…

September 13, 2021

At the start of the pandemic, much caught us by surprise. The stores ran out of any and every kind of sanitizer; there was no PPE to be found. Did we even know what PPE was? We were told not to "speak moistly", to wear a mask, and to …( read more )

The Red Chair

August 7, 2021

There it was — along the Mersey River deep in the forest in Kejimkujik National Park (Keji to most of us here in Nova Scotia, Canada) — the Red Chair, or to be precise, Red Chairs, …( read more )

I Will Counsel You

July 19, 2021

Lucy has her own profession in the Peanuts comic strip: psychiatrist. Lucy has put out her shingle — "Psychiatric Help 5¢". Charlie Brown shows up at her makeshift booth and …( read more )

Dayspring From On High

July 4, 2021

Do you know the story of the Dayspring Mission? It is a fascinating story of courage, determination, and sacrifice. In the 1860s, the Presbyterian Board of Missions decided that the New Hebrides Mission (Vanuatu today) should have a large …( read more )

Six O'clock, Time To Get Up!

June 23, 2021

One of the great fascinations of visiting my grandparents was the wonder of listening each morning to their budgie sing! Then — a miracle to us kids — the budgie would very clearly say, "Six o'clock, time to get up!" Even we kids found …( read more )

Keep Calm And Carry On

May 15, 2021

I was visiting a member of my congregation when she said, "Let's have coffee." A few minutes later, we were savouring coffee with cheese and crackers. I looked at the cup and asked her where the mug had come from and what it meant. The …( read more )

The Woman Who Sold Time

April 27, 2021

I was fascinated when I heard the story of Ruth Belville. She inherited a family business that had been started by her father in 1836 — selling time! In those days in London, anyone who wanted to know the exact time had few options that …( read more )

It's In You To Give

April 11, 2021

You may have seen the phrase in today's title a time or two, but it holds special meaning for me, and the pandemic is messing it up! For years, my weekly routine included a trip to the Canadian Blood Services. I gave about two hours each …( read more )

Where A Yes Can Take You

March 20, 2021

A news service interviewed me after I returned from Africa, asking about life in ministry, to which I answered, "I've never been bored. I've found that when I say 'Yes' to things, doors open. The more I say 'Yes', the more doors open. …( read more )

When You Have To Start Over

March 6, 2021

It was a long month and more for me — and probably longer for those around me! A sudden fall on my 39th wedding anniversary changed my life. (Sorry Jeanne — it wasn't the day that we had planned!) I think that I adapted rather well to …( read more )

Well Done!

February 21, 2021

It's 6 a.m. on a dark and moody morning, and the fog is deep in the Bay. I'm getting ready for the run that begins each new day — summer or winter, rain or shine. I have a routine to get ready — stretches, bends, push-ups, and all the …( read more )

I'll Pull You Out Of That Stinking Pollution

February 5, 2021

In his encyclical on the environment, Laudato si (Praise be to you), Pope Francis wrote: Human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbour and with the earth itself. …( read more )

The Pulse Of This Morning

January 20, 2021

A few days ago, I read from Maya Angelou's poem, On the Pulse of the Morning. It was read at the inauguration of the President of the United States of America on January 20th, 1993, when life was a little more civil (or civilized) than …( read more )

The Morning After

December 26, 2020

What do we do the morning after? The morning after the celebration of Christmas, that is. We spend so much time in the anticipatory mode that we don't really know what to do with the morning after. When we wake on the other side of …( read more )

Part Of The Crew

September 26, 2020

I love sailing, and I love racing. We have dedicated positions as part of the crew. I am on the mainsail. Others can be found in the cockpit around me, others are at the mast, while still others are responsible for the bow, and of course, …( read more )

Through The Storm

August 21, 2020

It was just one of those days on the boat. The calm became a stiffening breeze, the breeze became a blow, and the blow just got stronger and stronger. We were in a race on the Bras d'Or Lakes of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and we …( read more )

Be Strong

August 1, 2020

It is impossible to travel anywhere in Nova Scotia, Canada, without confronting a sign reading "Nova Scotia Strong". Nova Scotia has had to learn to be strong in the first months of 2020. With the rest of the country, we had to respond to …( read more )

Balm In Gilead

October 17, 2019

It was one of those lazy, hazy August Sundays when more folks decide on the beach than sit on the bench at church. The smattering of folk warmly welcomed the summer guest preacher, who offered a sermon and gave us food for thought. There …( read more )

A Sabbath Moment

March 19, 2019

In a busy world, Sabbath is something that we need to seek intentionally. People need to pursue Sabbath moments in life. People in the church and in society alike need concrete examples of how to create Sabbath — in their car, through …( read more )

Fisherman's Cove

March 2, 2019

Picture a 12-kilometre (7-mile) hike with a 300-metre (1000-foot) drop from start to ocean. It's labelled difficult, and that means for seasoned hikers. Try it with all the camping gear necessary for mom and dad and three kids all under …( read more )

A Church Without Walls

February 15, 2019

In 2001, the Church of Scotland looked around and decided that something was terribly wrong with the church in Scotland. It wasn't just numerical decline. There was something wrong about how people — both inside and outside — perceived …( read more )

The Sound Of Silence

February 1, 2019

Growing up in the 1960s, I learned to love "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel. And the sign said: "The words of the prophets Are written on the subway walls And tenement halls And whispered in the sound of silence." It was …( read more )

The Year Of Sabbath Preparation

May 7, 2006

Imagine a negotiation between labour and management. The final touches are being put to the agreement, but there is still a sticking point — and the whole agreement may collapse unless it can be resolved. The issue? Time off. The … (read more)

Something Beautiful For God

July 26, 2003

What a mess of mismatched morsels! In front of her was food of every description brought to Evangel Hall (an inner city mission in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) all to provide a little something to satisfy the hunger of those who … (read more)

 



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